Lawmakers seek full list of federal mental health programs

"Working together, we can ensure federal resources are effectively used so that tax dollars reach directly to the level of patients and their families," the lawmakers wrote to OMB acting director Jeffrey Zients.

"Those with untreated severe mental illness are two to three times more likely to exhibit violent behavior, directed at themselves or others. The presence of such disorders in perpetrators of mass violence demands additional research, investigation and understanding as to what went wrong."

December's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School renewed debate on gun control policies, and to a smaller degree, U.S. attitudes toward mental illness.

A raft of bills now seek to strengthen federal investments in mental healthcare, but they have seen less attention as disputes over gun policy draw focus.

Murphy and DeGette requested that OMB provide, in addition to its list, an accounting of all federal funds devoted to mental health programs.